Disney Channels Return to YouTube TV

Posted on December 19, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos with 8 Comments

Paul's Tech Makeover: Embracing our Cord-Cutting Future

After a two-day absence, Disney’s channels—ABC, ESPN, the Disney Channel, FX, and others—have returned to YouTube TV.

“We are pleased to announce that after a brief disruption, we have reached a new distribution agreement with Google’s YouTube TV for continued carriage of our portfolio of networks,” a Walt Disney Company statement explains. “We appreciate Google’s collaboration to reach fair terms that are consistent with the market, and we’re thrilled that our robust lineup of live sports and news plus kids, family, and general entertainment programming is in the process of being restored to YouTube TV subscribers across the country.”

As you may recall, YouTube TV last week alerted its 4+ million customers that they may lose Disney’s channels because the two firms were unable to reach “an equitable agreement” on the cost of those channels. And when the deadline arrived on December 17, sure enough, Disney’s channels disappeared from YouTube TV and Google lowered the monthly cost of the service by $15 to $49.99, giving consumers a rare peek at how much media behemoths like Disney charge TV services for their wares.

With Disney back on YouTube, however, some customers may be disappointed to discover that the savings disappeared after just two days. So Google is offering all YouTube TV customers a one-time $15 credit.

“We’re happy to share that we’ve reached an agreement with Disney to return their content to YouTube TV while preserving a $64.99/mo. price for our members,” a Google statement notes. “As we promised a $15 discount while the Disney content remained off-platform, we will still honor a one-time credit for all impacted members. For active members who have not yet received that $15 discount on their monthly bill, you will automatically receive a one-time credit on your next bill with no action needed.”

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Disney Channels Return to YouTube TV”

  1. datameister

    Makes me wonder which one did the actual caving. Was Disney trying to call Youtube's bluff until Youtube actually pulled the channels, then Disney dropped their upgrade fee to something reasonable. Or was it the other way around with Youtube expecting Disney to not let it get that far and settle on whatever pricing, but then realized Disney wasn't going settle? So Youtube figured they had no choice but to pay more since the majority of their subscribers are probably in it for the Disney sports channels.

  2. ringofvoid

    The tell may be in who continues to have trouble in yearly negotiations: Disney with Comcast, ATT, Spectrum etc. or Google with other content providers. It's hard to tell though because these disputes with carrier vs provider have become so commonplace.

  3. George Rae

    At $50 I signed up yesterday because that is a good price, I have Disney+ free from Verizon. won’t renew now. With the price hikes already announced streaming packages have lost appeal to me. A DVR type solution OTA for the few network shows and sports I want is next, that wasn’t on my bingo card for 2022. Tubi, Apple TV plus, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max has more than I could ever watch, and dropping stuff at my door as a bonus ?

  4. Pbike908

    Happy it's resolved. YouTube TV is a good service.

  5. crunchyfrog

    I'm getting really sick of this crap but by all appearances, this is going to become fairly normal with slugfests between corporate juggernauts and the little guys getting stepped on in their tussles over money.

    We cut the cord for a reason and that was to get away from the evils of the horrible cable companies. Now that cord looks to be wrapping around the necks of the consumer by the content creators and distribution companies directly.

  6. mikeh

    It would be nice to be able to have the option for each subscriber to drop Disney and save $15 a month. I bet Disney would not like that deal however I think there could be a lot of subscribers that would seriously consider the option.

  7. JH_Radio

    I honestly do not see us ever cutting the cord.

  8. jlmerrill

    Bailey Sports exited YouTube TV. A deal breaker for me.